Instant Analysis: The Pekka Rinne Deal

Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:36 PM / Features
Nashville Predators
Rinne Signs 7-Year Contract With Preds
Rinne Highlight Reel
Rinne's NYC Media Tour
Rinne Sets Team Single Season Shutout Record
Flashback: March 2008-Rinne's Call Up
Pekka Rinne is not only re-signed, but signed to a contract that will keep him with the Preds for the remainder of his career. Rinne, who just turned 29 today (click here to post your Birthday wishes for Rinne), has emerged as one of the elite goaltenders in the game. He was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season along with Tim Thomas (37 years old) and Roberto Luongo (32 years old).

In fact, looking back at the last 14 Vezina Trophy winners, only one has been younger than 29 --- Jose Theodore was 25 when he won the award in 2001-02) --- and six have been 34 or older. Goaltending in today’s NHL has become about experience. Rinne has it and can make a very strong claim as the top goaltender under 30 right now.

The emergence of Rinne is also a credit to the Predators organization, who drafted Rinne in the eighth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft before patiently moving him throughout the system. As a team that has had some goaltender turnover in the past, the re-signing of Rinne solidifies a crucial spot on the ice and sets a foundation for the Preds for years to come.

Rinne notched his 100th NHL win against Anaheim on Saturday, and also set a franchise record by recording his 22nd shutout. Impressive numbers considering he just began his fourth full season in Nashville. In the three seasons prior to 2011-12, he had 20 shutouts, which was tied for the best mark in the NHL.

The Preds reached the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first in franchise history last season, and Rinne was a major reason why. He was already known as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders, but his spectacular playoffs performances on such a major stage made him a household name throughout the hockey world.

Opposing players and national media outlets continually bestow compliments and awards to the 6-foot-5, 209-pound Finland native. In the 2011-12 edition of The Hockey News’ Best of Everything in Hockey, Rinne was ranked No. 1 for ‘Best Glove Hand’ and No. 3 for ‘Best Goaltender.’

Rinne never appeared distracted as contract talks were taking place, and it certainly did not affect his play. Still, with the negotiations behind him, it’s one less thing for him to worry about. And it should be noted that Rinne is an outstanding locker room presence, respected by his peers as not only an outstanding player but also as a person and teammates. Rinne is never one to point fingers and he has a team approach that is genuine.

--Bryan Mullen/Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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